The Magic To Giving Meaningful Feedback
I’m delighted to publish this guest post by 12 year old Sebastian Hurt!
Have you ever given someone feedback, and the minute it came out you wished you stayed quiet?
I was nine years old and attending the National Speaker’s Association Youth camp that takes place during the NSA Conference.
At the time I was a fledgling magician starving for any new trick, so my magical mentor, David Dye, pointed me in the direction of some amazing magicians at NSA. One of them being the awesome “boring meeting vanquisher,” Jon Petz.
Jon and I got to talking and we followed the magician tradition where each performer does a trick. So I did my best rinky dink trick and although I could barely hold a deck of cards, Jon applauded.
He then launched into an elegant, funny and amazing routine. However because I was not ready to be amazed and just accept the awesomeness, I tried to look smart and give him some feedback. I said, “that’s cool. But maybe next time you could do it with a little more youthful enthusiasm.”
I could tell from the horror on my mom’s face that this was not the best choice.
What Jon did next was so funny. He did the next trick and ran around the expo hall floor pretending to get an imaginary crowd hyped up with his youthful enthusiasm.
“How’s that, Seb?”
I learned a lot that day about feedback.
- Never give feedback to impress others.
- Be sure any feedback you give is to help them, not you.
- Don’t take ridiculous criticism too seriously—take it with grace and a laugh.
Now at twelve, I try to balance my youthful enthusiasm with a good dose of confident humility when giving feedback.
What feedback-suggestions can you add to Sebastian’s list?
Sebastian Hurt is a 7th grader who works to make ordinary days magical, and the co-author of Glowstone Peak., a children’s leadership book about courage, influence and hope, which he wrote with his parents, Karin Hurt and David Dye.
Thanks so much, Dan!!!! it looks great. You are the best.
Sebastian’s post is awesome! The idea of don’t take ridiculous feedback too seriously, speaks to me.
Totally Dan – that’s certainly something I can learn from!
You are a wise young man Sebastian. There is a great quote that says: “Experience comes from bad decisions, and good decisions come from experience.” The best people learn from poor decisions and make better ones the next time. To be clear, you will make plenty of them in your life. We all do!
Bravo Sebastian…. Great writing & perspective for a 12-year-old! Body language can say a lot & that magicians reaction was priceless….to your point, you never get a second chance to make a first impression! Keep on writing @andrewmarotta21 #survivethrive
Thank you so much. I totally agree with your point on body language, keeping eye contact and proper posture really means a lot.
Thanks, Seb! Excellent piece! I would add to the list, when giving feedback, try not to be too attached to the results or the person’s response. Give it in good faith.
Thanks for the comment, I definitely agree, give feedback hoping someone will take it of course but don’t force it on them.
Wow, Sebastian! You are impressive because you have learned from a misstep. This is something most adults struggle with! Keep learning, keep growing, and keep writing!
Thank you so much, learning from your mistakes is crucial and I sure make enough of them.
WOW plan on seeing your name again, wherever you end up shining. Keep being you and don’t let some jealous teacher or other “grown up” tell you how to be that person you are meant to be.
Thanks for your comment and I will do got my eyes on the finish line.
I’d tell Sebastian to take the feedback and write it down, especially if it’s painful. Pull it out in a year and re-read it. If it’s still painful, you haven’t grown, if it makes you smile because you know you’ve mastered the feedback, be happy because you’ve grown and are the smartest 13 year old around.
Great tactic, tracking growth is so interesting especially at my age were changes are drastic.
I love the kids of today, great post Sebastian!
Such a fabulous story I love to watch “Penn & Teller”, knowing we have upcoming Magicians like Sebastian is fantastic. hope to see him on a show someday.
Follow your dreams the universe can be yours !
I love Penn and Teller. I got to meet them in Las Vegas. So inspiring.
Then perhaps you will be on their show and “fool them”? Dream big and go far young man!
Great post, Sebastian!
I wish I had as much wisdom at 37 that Seb has at 12. Very impressive.
Kudos to you Sebastian! Great advice.
I wish I had learned this lesson as early as you. Being confident in my own shoes is still difficult sometimes, even at 52.
Meg you are so kind. P.S. 37 is a magically number for our family. If you start paying attention you will see it shows up in many important places. My pop pop has a whole theory about how it’s the most important number. So it’s likely a very important age 😉
Thank you all so much for your nice support. I’m so grateful to be able to talk with you on Mr. Rockwell’s blog.
I hope to see you in action! You just need to pursue what you want! I’m also a magician but in Denver! Still doing my thing up to now.